The global eyewear market is expected to grow to $172 billion by 2028, up from $115 billion in 2021. This incredible growth is driven by changes in consumer behavior and technological advancements made by eyeglass providers. When the two forces merge, eyeglasses considered products of science fiction today may become commonplace in the 2020s decade.
To start on the consumer side, eyeglass users are buying more eyeglasses than before. Instead of one pair every few years, many are purchasing several pairs in the same year. Roughly 126 million Americans wear eyeglasses, and getting a new pair costs an average amount of $576 when the cost of an eye exam is included. One reason for the uptick in purchasing relates to working from home. Millions of Americans are risking computer vision syndrome due to excessive exposure to electronic screens. Individuals are also more likely to notice changes in their prescription when their job requires them to read relatively small print on a computer all day.
To skirt some of the costs associated with purchasing more glasses, savvy customers are replacing their lenses only. Average single vision lenses are only $126, a fraction of the $576 total listed above. This makes lens replacement cheaper while allowing customers to keep the frames they already bought and like. Getting one’s lenses mailed also allows customers to install them personally.
On the provider side, blue light filtering glasses are being sold in droves as a response to the issues remote workers are facing. Other popular lens filters gaining traction in the eyewear industry offer UV protection, anti-fog coating, or scratch resistance. Anyone who regularly wears glasses and a face mask is bound to be intrigued by the anti-fog innovation. Individuals not familiar with the industry may not realize the amount of technology that goes into eyewear, nor how much eyewear changes over time. Right now, providers are working to develop eyewear capable of addressing medical conditions such as migraines or light sensitivity. Electronic focusing glasses exist on the market today, but they are still too expensive for the average consumer.
Other innovations on the horizon include the advent of smart glasses. These glasses will have transparent displays that give their wearers stereoscopic vision. Augmented information will display outside their line of sight to minimize distractions and could have a variety of professional applications for careers as disparate as engineers and surgeons. The future is clear.